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hiking
1 day ago

It was beautiful!!! Amazing views, it was steep and snowing when we went, but the view at the end was worth it. Can’t wait to do it again during the summer

Started at 7:00 AM with one other car in the parking lot. About 1" of fresh snow on the ground. Need to walk up the closed road about 1/2 mile to get to trailhead. The trail was easy to follow and packed. Had 1-2" of fresh snow for the most part with hardpack and ice below. As you got close to the scree field near the summit, larger snow drifts. No snow shoes required, spikes highly recommended due. Trail easy to follow up the scree to the radio tower. Gorgeous 360 degree view on top as well as into RMNP, Meeker and Longs Peak. Headed down around 11:00 and met fairly heavy traffic going up.

4/21/18 Drop dead gorgeous views at every step! It has moderate steepness but the rewarding views are worth it! Definitely need microspikes! Some spots were a bit slippery/on edge!

backpacking
3 days ago

A few friends and I hiked this trail about 2 weeks ago right after it snowed about 3 feet. It was the most beautiful and breathtaking hike I’ve ever done.

Hiking in the snow! Great scenery along the way! Many folks had skis or snow shoes, but I was just fine with crampons and poles. I had a really hard time with the lungs of flatlander, but you feel awesome when you come off that last ridge.

4/20/18 Steeper than I expected. There’s a period of elevation in the beginning where I got worn out, then it evens out for a bit and you get excited/ relieved and the last portion steepens with large rocks.
There is a restroom about 2/3 of the way up.
There wasn’t a parking fee when I went.
The lake wasn’t frozen. This trail would be better during summer when the trees come back to life!

This was my first hiking experience in Colorado and I’ll never forget it. There are several scenic places along the trail that would each be worthy destinations. The last of the lakes on the trail, Emerald Lake, is a generous reward for a moderate half-day hike.

hiking
6 days ago

Great trail with spectacular views of Estes Park and the Rockies! Worth every step!

hiking
6 days ago

What an amazing view at the top! This is a great hike to take visitors to. It's not too long, not too hard, and such an amazing payoff at the end!

As always, start early!

Extremely popular trail. We started at 6:30 in the morning and didn't have to share Emerald Lake with too many people, so going early will earn you a little more serenity. It's gorgeous all the way there.

Hiked this on a Monday, 4/16 ~0930. Only shared the trail with 1 other couple but the lot was filled by the time we left. Microspikes absolutely needed, gorgeous hike! Can be difficult to find the trail at first, just take a left at the huge boulder after Nymph

hiking
7 days ago

We hiked this with 4 kids aged 5 through 9. We made many stops along the way but was delightfully enjoyed by all. We were there in July, the trail was crowded but less so as we passed the first two lakes. We swam in the lake, it was wicked cold, and then basked in sun on the large rocks to dry off. Great times by all.

hiking
8 days ago

Kind of a crazy day today- winds reached up to 90 mph in the Denver area, and even in Estes the winds were blowing pretty bad (although not quite THAT bad). When we started off the hike, it was sunny and blue skies, with only a few clouds. By the time we got to the lake there were snow pellets slapping against our faces and we had to cover our faces as much as we could on the way down so we could see where we were going. We got pretty cold and wet, but the hike was worth it. Can’t wait to do this again in the summer!

Perfect time to go before the parking lots fill and the crowds roll in. The falls are still partly frozen but it is even more beautiful.

hiking
9 days ago

The trail was, for me, steep in a lot of places. I just took it slow (I'm not accustomed to the altitude), and was rewarded with fabulous views on the way up, and a nice little lake at the top.

Love this trail, very easy and has a few cool spots to hang and have a picnic by the water

snowshoeing
12 days ago

(8 p.m. - 11 p.m.) Snowing at Bear Lake parking lot and all the way through Emerald Lake. Nymph and Dream both had water on top of the ice and had to walk along their shores. Used crampons from the parking up to Dream Lake and then switched to snowshoes. Wind has always picked up at the start of Dream Lake, with the snow visibility was poor, needed to use a head lamp to and from Emerald Lake. It was a good trip!

Great for most levels of ability. No need for snow shoes, was just fine in microspikes, probably wouldn’t recommend without. Beautiful views throughout the hike.

hiking
14 days ago

This trail was great!! The views were amazing. The only downside was the wind at the top of the mountain. My husband and I were able to set up our hammocks at the top and eat lunch though - it was wonderful! I highly recommend!

Beautiful, fun hike! Did on 4/11 and traction definitely helped, especially coming down. You definitely don’t need snowshoes right now though. The trail is pretty easy to follow for the most part. Just make sure when leaving Nymph Lake, you go on the left side of the rock, not the right.

My cousin and I started our trek around 7 am and arrived back at the parking lot around 11:30 am. When we first began it was lightly snowing and visibility was poor. But around 8:30 am the skies began to clear and the sun made it's way through the clouds to warm us up.

The mist surrounding Long's Peak from across the valley made for an incredibly picturesque viewing of the peak. The trail was in relatively good condition, only covered lightly with snow most of the way up, and we pretty much followed the footprints of a prior trekker the entire ascent. We did lose the trail about a mile from the summit and had to scramble up some boulders before we found it again.

Microspikes/crampons were abundantly helpful on the way down, as there were some areas on the switchbacks that were exceptionally icy, and the traction enabled us to descend safely. We only saw two other hikers on our descent, which made the peaceful tranquility of this trail one of my favorite spring hikes thus far.

This is an amazingly beautiful hike that I would love to revisit later in the summer when the snow has melted and the trail's a bit easier to follow. The views along the way and from the summit are incredibly rewarding and the long, steady hike to the top is absolutely worth it. I would highly recommend!

Words can’t describe the beauty of the entire hike. Not a bad hike at all good for everybody

hiking
19 days ago

Very beautiful area, you’ll definitely need micro spikes and trekking poles, it made a world of difference even on the easy bear lake hike. Unfortunately we got lost after nymph lake and had to turn back. Wish there was some visual marker after nymph lake.

The mountain shop is 30 minutes away, not 12 minutes as one reviewer posted so best to get the spikes first.

20 days ago

Hiked today 4/5/18. Great weather and well maintained trials. The lake was half froze over and lots of people enjoying the views along the way. Only have been to Estes Park / RMNP 3 times and next to dream lake hike this is my 2nd favorite so far!

Went first week of April. Had a wonderful hike. Cliffs on the north side, creek crossing, heavy forest on south side. Beautiful views. Lots of moose tracks. Trail packed down. .8 mile walk to start of trail during winter.

hiking
23 days ago

Went 3/24 and was still snow covered. Only had tennis shoes and was doable, but we were slipping a little bit on the way down. Absolutely gorgeous trail though. Competitive parking be prepared to wait or get there early

hiking
23 days ago

We hiked 4/1. There was a group of 6 of us new to hiking in CO, in snow. We hiked around Bear Lake as a test run and realized despite waterproof and good hiking shoes, microspikes is definitely a game changer. The ranger suggested we rented then at Estes Park Mountain Shop (12min away). Definitely worth it! They're $8/day and makes a world of difference. With that we decided to try the Emerald Lake Trail which has beautiful and breathtaking views! The view is so worth it when you get to the end. You get to pass Nymph Lake and Dream Lake on the way. Trail is very snowy and icy, a lot of the snow already packed from other hikers. General good rule we found is stick left going up and stick right going down until you get to Dream Lake. This hike is such a great hike for us snow hiking newbies and really gave us a great first start in hiking in snow. Trekking poles were really helpful for us and I would recommend. Microspikes I would highly recommend. Despite the wind and cold, we were able to hammock at the end to enjoy the wonderful view. It took us 2 hours (took 30 min break for lunch) to get there but that's with many stops because most of us were use to not hiking at a higher elevation and the steep parts winded a lot of us. We also stopped to take off layers since we were getting hot and great spots to take scenic pictures!

hiking
24 days ago

Very icy trails, definitely will want spikes. Ice is thin at the lakes outlets/inlets. Saw a few people get wet. (3/31/18)

hiking
25 days ago

Great vistas and a well maintained trail. I would caution anyone with bad knees... definitely a stair master hike!

snowshoeing
25 days ago

Love this hike! Winter or summer. Moderate and BEAUTIFUL views.

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